THE STORY OF GOLD CREATIONS sounds more like a Hollywood rom-com than a family business tale and is perhaps what makes the brand so special. Gold Creations was founded in 1975 by two crazy-in-love kids, Vicki and Glenn Wolfe, who landed in Charleston by way of a cross-country adventure in their VW Bug at just 18 years old. Their travels took them on adventures throughout the West, where they made new friends and collected artisanal goods along the way—from art to jewelry to pottery. Full of inspiration and memories, the couple traveled to Charleston and humbly leased tables at the famed Charleston Market to start selling to locals and visitors alike. Forty-five years later, the family-owned and -operated jewelry store continues to be nestled in the heart of bustling downtown Charleston, inside the Market building that turned their dreams into a reality.
From the beginning, Gold Creations has turned to the memories and love of Charleston for inspiration, which is still true today with every collection designed. From Charleston rice beads and gates in silver and 14-karat gold, monogram pieces and beautiful pearls to statement styles, exclusive charms and one-of-a-kind gemstone rings, each unique piece is destined to become a family heirloom.
“We are a family-owned and -run business, and we consider our customers part of our family,” says founder Vicki Wolfe. “Charleston is a very special place to us, and we want to share that magic with others. Many of our pieces are meant to capture a memory, like a beach vacation with family or a honeymoon with a new spouse. Not only do we like creating unique mementos, we also love seeing our customers feel confident and joyful when they find the perfect piece from us.”
Each collection tells a different story, all linked to their beloved Charleston. “Many of our customers make our jewelry part of their family tradition. There was a family who visited Charleston for a beach vacation every year for 18 years. Every visit, this family would come to our store and choose one charm and add it to a charm bracelet they got their first year. When their daughter turned 18, the family, as the finishing touch, gave her the charm collection that had been built over the course of her childhood. I was so honored that our family and our jewelry became part of their family tradition. Nothing warms the heart like the bonds of family and memories of precious moments shared. With our jewelry, we hope to share this gift with all our customers,” says Wolfe.
When it comes to the design of the collections, everyone is very much involved, much how it was in the beginning. “Designing our jewelry is truly a family affair. It’s what we talk about when we’re all together. Everyone is encouraged to share their ideas about new pieces for the store, so that we can all take part in creating our brand,” says Wolfe.
Merging traditions and history with delicate metals, Gold Creations offers the perfect gift, regardless of age. “My favorite collection is our signature charms. I love the Charleston flair in these unique pieces. One of my favorites is our gazebo charm, modeled after the gazebo in White Point Garden,” says Wolfe. “This charm was a team effort between Glenn and me. I took pictures of each side of the gazebo, and he carved the original mold based on those snapshots. Some of my personal favorites are our shell pendants that Glenn made as a gift for me.
During my walks on the beach, I picked up a sea urchin and a baby’s ear shell. Glenn then cast molds from the shells themselves to make jewelry for me, so that I would have the memory of those shells forever. The time and care he put into making these pieces are what make them so precious to me. These charms hold a special place in my heart, and I love giving our customers a piece of our family to take home with them as a memory of their own.”
Carolina Ramirez Herrera is an art- and design-obsessed travel and lifestyle writer, who often contributes to blogs, city guides and lifestyle publications, sharing a page from her little Black Book of personal travels. Based in Miami but usually on a plane, follow her on @lacarolinda.